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Eight rules for graceful declines

HOW TO SAY NO. Don't haul out a list of reasons why you're not going to bone the guy -- unless he asks. Credit: RJ Martin

1) Politeness reigns supreme on both sides. Sarcasm, insults and raised voices are not cool

2) No really does mean no. Don’t make someone be rude to you

3) If you’re cruising the phones or the web and your messages aren’t answered — that’s your answer

4) When you’re cruising someone in person keep your hands to yourself unless you’ve been given a signal — in words or body language — that it’s okay

5) If someone wants reasons for you rejecting them, you’re entitled to tell them — you’re also entitled to brush off the question

6) If you want to know why you’ve been rejected, be prepared to hear it. Not every answer is going to be tactful or constructive

7) Once a rejection has taken place, both sides need to move on immediately; avoid dwelling on it

8) If he’s just not into you, you probably don’t want him anyway.